The Walking Dead Recap: Eye, Caramba!

<The Walking Dead Season 4 RecapAfter last week’s episode of The Walking Dead, we knew that the Governor was back. And after this week’s, you’ll also know how he got back. (Spoiler alert: It ain’t pretty.) Who’s turned into the “Live Bait” that the title promises? And just how grody is it when it happens? Read on.

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PUTTING THE ‘LOW’ IN ‘LOWLIFE’ | The hour begins, as far as I can tell, with a flashback to shortly after the Governor and his flunkies, Martinez and Schumpert, have been driven out of Woodbury. Ol’ One-Eye is already deep in meltdown mode — so much so that he wakes up one morning to discover that he’s been deserted by his minions. But by the time he’s torched the town that he tried to turn into a demented Norman Rockwell painting and stumbled across a vulnerable family holed up in their apartment, he’s so bummed out that he’s displaying less personality (and interest in grooming) than even a walker!

FRESH ‘MEET’ | The family of survivors is comprised of a cancer-stricken dad; daughter Tara, a lesbian cop; daughter Lily, a nurse; and Lily’s daughter, Megan, who at first mistakes the Governor for the father who abandoned her. As will happen in apocalyptic times, the welcome that the newcomer receives isn’t a warm one. “I have enough artillery in here,” Tara warns, “to kill you every day for the next 10 years.” Not that it matters to the Governor — by then, he’s practically feral. Plus, he’s so determined to never again get attached to (or lose) anyone that he throws out the SpaghettiOs that Lily offers him. (Clearly, he thinks he’s to blame for the deaths of his wife and daughter — he can’t even look at himself in the picture of the three of ’em that he still carries.)

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FAMILY GUY | Despite his best efforts to keep his (emotional) distance, the Governor still begins to get attached. How could he — or anyone — not? First, he carries Dad to bed and grants his request that he fetch the backgammon game from his neighbor’s apartment — a yucksome affair, given that the neighbor is a double amputee who’s undead and rotting in his tub! Then, he grants Lily’s request that he run down to the old folks’ home to fetch Dad an oxygen tank — yet another yucksome affair (think The Moldin’ Girls). But the real tipping point (one of them, anyway) comes after Lily tends to his wounds — and gladly, since a) she seems kinda into him, and b) “Nobody ever mentioned just how boring the end of the world was gonna be.” Left alone with Megan, the Governor is bewildered by her offer of a pinky swear — “What’s that?” — never to reveal how he lost his eye. “I’m a pirate,” he says before explaining that it actually happened when he was trying to protect someone. Later, she sweetly gives the king in their chess game a makeover so that, like her new friend, he has a patch.

STARTING OVER | When Dad finally does die, the girls — who’ve only just been taught by the Governor that walkers don’t stop getting up unless you shoot/stab/demolish their heads — refuse to leave his side until it’s too late and he’s turned. So the erstwhile Philip Blake has to leap into action and bash in the dearly departed’s brains with an oxygen tank. Afterward, Megan is too freaked out to go near her would-be father figure. But Lily knows a good thing when she sees it. (Ha — so she thinks!) “I know we’re not [the family you lost],” she tells her hero, bringing us to tipping point No. 2, “but for now, you’re stuck with us.” (Get it now? Lily and her family are the “live bait” — luring the Governor out of his stupor and back into life! Clever, misleading title!) Everyone’s immediate future decided, when the Governor sets off, the girls go with him. Tara confesses that she isn’t really a cop (though she was in the police academy). Lily gets busy with the Governor the first chance she gets. (Thank God he shaved!) And Megan gets over her Governorphobia when, fleeing from a mass of walkers, they fall into an open grave, and he savagely neutralizes the threat to protect her. “I’m never gonna let anything happen to you,” he vows. “Promise.” And, right on cue, someone peeks into the hole: Well, hello, Martinez!

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Do you empathize with the Governor after seeing him in this light? Can you ever really empathize with him after the things he’s done? Why did he call himself Brian Herriott? (Is there some significance to that name that I’m not aware of?) Were you annoyed that we still didn’t get to find out how Daryl reacts to Carol’s banishment? Hit the comments.

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157 Comments
  1. Steve F. says:

    You know, I actually liked this episode. I’m surprised “Sympathy for the Devil” wasn’t used at any point this week (perhaps next week?) – because in some weird way, I found myself rooting for the erstwhile Philip Blake to regain his humanity. For some reason, I’m hoping that he and Rick will end up fighting a common enemy… but then again, maybe not.

    Also, I noticed a bit of the prose novel “Rise of the Governor” was used for some of the source material (the alias “Brian” used in reverse, the father passing and turning). Any fellow book readers notice this as well?

  2. janne says:

    Omg how boring was that, get that loser off the show! Im just waiting for the Rick and Darryl talk too. I Hope Darryl goes Merle on him!

  3. Kate says:

    Great episode – for those that found it too quiet, remember that without quiet, there is no meaning to the eruptions of excitement. It is clear that something is being set up and we just need to be patient to see where we are going. Also, love David Morrisey and am not sorry to see him or his backstory – it makes the inevitable conflict more interesting.

  4. azu says:

    Thank God I didn’t listen to all the numerous negative comments about this episode. It was great!!! I loved it. The writers actually managed to do what I never believed would be possible – getting me to root for and actually like the governor and wishing for his redemption story!! Can’t wait for next week! David Morrissey is great!! Just like I don’t really fancy Daryl and carol!!

  5. D. says:

    This season is the most boring thing and the governor-centric episode just made it worse. WHO-FRIKKIN-CARES! Have they already run out of stories? And we have to go through another 50 minues of Governor next week? My God i hope they’ll get better again soon or i’ll stop watching.

  6. Mary Ann says:

    Last night’s episode was so life-sucking I was afraid I was going to turn into a walker.

  7. Holden says:

    I just watched this episode literally JUST watched it and something particular is bothering me. Okay so Lilly got it on with “Brian” thats cool right? But the thing that bothers me is that they did it in a bed RIGHT NEXT TO MEGHAN AND THE OLDER KID!!! Is anyone else bothered by this?!? Isnt it messed up to know the fact that the moms vagina was penetrated right next to the kids, THEY COULD HAVE WOKEN UP FOR CHRISTA SAKE HELP!!

    • Sophia B. says:

      Yes it bothered me very much also. I changed the channel, so missed how they lost the truck. But if you remember Rick and Lori got it on in the tent with Carl right next them. So it’s not new to this show to pull something like that. Kind of disappointing. But on the other hand this is not a show for children, even if a heck of a lot of children watch it.

  8. Carolyn Yates says:

    i loved the ep, love the show, just reading comments and man some of u guys have alot of hate issues.lol

  9. Janice says:

    He used the name Brian because he saw it on a building side. It said for Brian to not go to this address, but instead to go to another address. There were other names on the buikding as well. The Governor is the vile villian that makes people cringe. I love the show. I want Daryl to punch out Rick and go get Carol. This episode might have been better broken into sections and dispersed among other story lines.

  10. Henry says:

    I don’t like that he’s all nice and helpfull now I whould have thought he whould have formed a new group lied to them so he can attack the prison agen not be this nice guy? It’s like they enterduced a new guy to the show I bet the evil side of him might come back are he will die saving the little girl but I think the group in the prison needs to know that he died and it whould have been nice to have the women in the woods joien the group but I guess not

  11. Chris says:

    In response to your question about why he called himself Brian Heriot, that name was written over and over again on the barn with all the messages at the beginning of the episode, when he’s wandering the land after Martinez, et al. bail on him. I didn’t notice it until I watched it a second time.

  12. Helvetika says:

    I actually thought this past Sunday’s episode was great. It was slow moving, but it was a nice change of pace. It will be interesting to see whether his apparent change of heart sticks or not. I can’t imagine that Rick’s group would ever forgive the Governor even if it does. Still, it was an interesting look into a different side of the Gov than we’re used to seeing and it actually made me feel kinda sorry for him despite his going cray cray at the end of last season :P

  13. Pel says:

    I’ve reviewed Episodes 1-4 of Season 4, of The Walking Dead, on my blog. If you check it out, any feedback is much appreciated :)

    screenplayisles.blogspot

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